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tv   America Tonight  Al Jazeera  January 31, 2014 9:00pm-9:31pm EST

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hazardous. i'm john siegenthaler. i'll see you at 11:00 eastern, 8:00 pacific. remember you can get the latest news on aljazeera.com. >> ton "america tonight": a bridge bomb shill, chris christie to the gw bridge scandal and how will what the governor knew raise the stakes on his political future? >> i had no knowledge or involvement in this issue. in its planning or its execution. >> on "america tonight," convicted but unconvincing. an italian court says amanda knox should go back to court for
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the murder of her roommate. >> definitely not going back willingly. they'll have to catch me and pull me back kicking and screaming. >> and nachos, check. keg tap, check, thousand dollar stadium seats, no thanks. why fans doing game dane economics may be opting to stay home. good evening and thanks for being with us. i'm joie chen. we begin tonight with what could prove to be a political bombshell, what might threaten chris christie's political aspirations. what is evidence to connect him to the gw bridge scandal.
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the bridge, the biggest vehicle bridge, shut down for four days in september it turns out on orders from governor christie's top staff. now in a letter obtained by the new york times the former port authority official in charge david wildsteen says christie knew what was going on. evidence exists tying christie to having knowledge of the lane closures during the period contrary to what the governor stated publicly in a two hour press conference. mr. wildstein coul contests the accuracy of various statements the governor made and he can prove the inaccuracy of some. this official who was appointed to the job by the governor, referred to a time earlier when the governor emphatically insisted he had no knowledge of the can hours. >> i come out here to apology to
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the people of in. innew jersey. i had no knowledge of the planning or execution and i am stunned by the abject stupidity that was shown here. i told them that in an hour i was going to go out in a press k and, if no one gave me --k and if no one ever gave me any knowledge to the contrary, i was going to tell them no one from my staff was involved in this matter. >> claimed it was a result of a traffic study but while deputy chief of staff bridget ann kelly discussed shutting down the lanes as early as august. winestein resigned in december, kelly was fired. you said this is not going to be so much of a problem unless.
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>> unless. >> unless what? >> unless one of the staff members that he claimed at first didn't know anything about it, then he blamed them, unless one of them talked. and you know what? they're talking. one of them claims he has evidence. now we don't know what the evidence is at this point. we're going to have to find out what it is. and remember mr. wildstein has a motivate here. he's trying to get the port authority to pay for his legal fees and they won't do it. he wrote this letter to threaten the governor that he wants his fees paid. >> this isn't a bombshell? >> well, we don't know definitively because we don't know what it is. the governor says they weren't really friends, people knew them in high school says they were friends. >> he was an appointee in any case? >> he was an appointee. the governor says he had no knowledge of it at all, didn't know what was happening.
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wildstein has evidence that the governor knew all about it. this confirms what people suspected in the beginning. there's no way the governor wouldn't know what was happening. the governor said he didn't see mr. wildstein for months but there are pictures of them laughing together during the lane closures. >> so that does raise that concern. what happens to the broader political aspirations of the governor here? is this enough to derail that or are we still talking about him being the front runner in the republican field? >> i don't know if you could call limb the front runner. he still has support and reasonably strong candidate. but what he did was cross the line from forcefulness to bullying. people liked the fact that he was forceful and he could take the position of president, but red trreceiptretribution agains,
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this appears to be a political retribution. that's called bullying. >> and people are watching very closely both in new jersey, and around the country. bill schneider our political analyst and al jazeera contributor. after the break, could amanda knox be be headed back to a an italian prison? of america to be heard. >> our shows explore the issues that shape our lives. >> new questions are raised about the american intervention.
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>> from unexpected viewpoints to live changing innovations, dollars and cents to powerful storytelling. >> we are at a tipping point in america's history! >> al jazeera america. there's more to it.
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>> the struggling midddle class >> we just can't get ahead... >> working longer hours, for less pay. >> people are struggling everywhere. >> school loans... morgages... inflation... taking it's toll... >> we live paycheck to paycheck... >> now in a continuing series, join ali velshi as we follow families, just like yours, as they try to get by... >> we're all struggling financially... >> america's middle class: rebuilding the dream only on al jazeera america! >> for amanda knox it has become a never-ending nightmare. the seattle coed studying language and love in the italian
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country side nearly seven years ago, became the focus of the murder in her roommate. the case's bizarre twists and turns, including allegations of a sex game gone rogue, returned to the states but now a new ruling in italy puts her back before the cameras again and this time: raises the straiks ostakes onan international diplc intrigue. lori jane gliha brings us up to date. >> this really has hit me like a train. i did not expect this to happen. i really expected so much better from the italian justice system. they found me innocent before. how can they say its guilt beyond a reasonable doubt? >> the 26-year-old told good morning america she will never go back to italy and is prepared to continue her fight to stay
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out of prison. >> and it's not right and it's not fair. and i'm going to do everything i can. granted, i need a lot of help. i -- i can't do this on my own and i can't help people understand this on my own. >> reporter: this is the second time an italian court convicted knox for killing her college roommate, meredith kercher. kercher, a are are british citizen, was found stabbed in their perugia apartment. finally brings this step one step closer to a close. >> that it has been upheld, again this time, so we hope to obviously come the end of the trial we are nearer to the truth and an end so we can stop and remember meredith, who she was and draw a line under as it
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were. >> in 2009 an italian court convicted nox an knox and her tn boyfriend raffaele sollecito. , in 2011 an appeals court acquitted them because of a lack of evidence and knox returned to the united states. but the case was reopened in 2013. knox told abc, learning of her 28 and a half year sentence was surreal. >> my first reaction was, no! this is wrong, and i'm going to do everything i can to prove that it is. >> it seems odd for americans i december to grasp the idea that someone could appeal an acquittal and go ahead and being equipmented. does this seem like this is double jeopardy to you? >> the u.s. notion of double jeopardy is much narrower than in many other countries. when they say it's been multiple, multiple cases, or it
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just is different aspects of the same case. >> washington, d.c. attorney bruce zagaris is an expert in international criminal law with a specialty in extradition. he says knox will have another opportunity to appeal before any talk of extradition begins. >> i understand that there's still another level that there could be an appeal to the supreme court of italy. her chances of appeal seem not oto have been exhausted. and if that's the case, them presumably italy may not try to request her extradition immediately. >> zagaris says the extradition treaty with italy is strong. if italy requests extradition, the state department must first decide to protest. >> which ones they want to process and which ones they
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don't? >> they look at the treaty, the extradition treaty between the u.s. and italy, whether the request meets the treaty. they also look at the u.s. extradition law and they also look at the united states constitution. and they also take into consideration political factors. i mean, italy is an important ally. >> knox's american attorney told al jazeera america's consider they will not accept the latest verdict in the case. >> there simply is no evidence. there was no evidence there will be no evidence and that is why this is beyond comprehension how any other verdict could have been other than that of not guilty. >> knox meanwhile is keeping her head up, even expressing concern for her former boyfriend. shortly after the verdict was read authorities found him nearly 250 miles away near the italian border with austria, he
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ask now facing 25 years behind bars but will remain free until the entire appeals process is complete. >> i will fight until the end also, because we proved and we showed in many ways that i had nothing to do with this murder. >> america tonight's lori jane gliha has been covering this. all right explain, isn't there a third person who was convicted in this trial? >> yes, third person, rudy guede, he admitted to being there the night of the killing, admitted to having sex with meredith kercher. and admitting to having placed the bloody hand print. >> he is serving sentence now? >> yes is. >> is it clear the relationship between the united states and italy, these are allied nations,
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wouldn't extradition automatically be the case if italy asked? >> extradition is hard but the u.s. does do it often. there are cases where we have had citizens abroad that have been convicted of crimes, that have not been extra died. in 2003 a bunch of cia agents were convicted in italy, it's a political you know part of the government they're doing the job that they were told to do. so in those cases that's weighed here and is it a private citizen, is it a political figure? in any case this process is going to be very lengthy. she's still got another appeal left and even if they do apply for extradition, the u.s. has to process that and it could take a few years after that. >> and even the boyfriend is in italy. it isn't clear he would go back immediately to priz open. >> he's out now, has the whole appeal process as well and they have to wait for the courts to come back and give them the
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reasoning for why they now came up with this latest verdict as well. >> lori jane gliha thanks very much. to look at the evidence, joining us is dr. greg hampekien, founder of the idaho innocence project. doctor we appreciate you joining us and talking a little bit about this. just clear here, you weren't originally involved in the case but some of your research was later used by the defense? >> so originally they were already at trial by the time i got involved. i was in england working on a similar case that had very small amounts of dna. and was doing research on similar cases and talked to the knox defense team to try to get the data offered them my opinion on it and since then have been volunteering with them through the idaho innocence project. >> want to be clear about that.
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the work you have done pertains to the dna which is a very small amount found on the knife in question. >> yes. and that's been examined a number of times now. what happened originally, they arrested amanda knox and raffaele sollecito four days after the crime. they collected evidence but never analyzed it. when they analyzed the evidence both dna, it wasn't raffaele, it wasn't amanda. it was rudy guede. this isn't a third person, this is a completely separate actor according to the defense and i think the record shows that. but in any case, rudy guede asks for a speedy trial and is convicted. why the prosecution continued with its two initial suspects when all of the dna is rudy guede's in that room, all of the
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dna that is found the day of the murder is the he's on her body, in her vagina. if this case had been worked properly, look at the data, look at the evidence, amanda knox and raffaele sollecito were never charged. they were charged based on a gut feeling before the evidence was processed. once the evidence was processed, scientifically it pointed to one person who was tried and convicted. i think a lot of people forget that's how this happened. so the knife evidence that the state used to prosecute amanda knox we've questioned from the beginning it's clear to me it was probably a tament contamina. >> not similar to what you have seen in u.s. cases, in other words the level of evidence, we're talking about different judges in these two cases in both of these cases it's a very small amount of evidence and not
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similar to what you'd see in a u.s. case? >> well, it's not -- it's a very small amount, sometimes you see these in crimes and some labs have validated procedures to look that low. my lab doesn't. because i mean very few labs can. and this italian lab wasn't even certified at that point. they had applied for it. but to look at this extraordinary low level you have to have a lot of precautions in place. and generally, labs repeat those results. so the judge, in the first appeal, asked for this to be repeated. and that's why they were freed. no one could repeat this spurious result on the knife and also the bra clasp which is what they used against raffaele sollecito. the reason they were freed is at the appellate level, the judge himself didn't want to hear from defense experts, didn't want the hear the first experts, appointed two experts out of rome who looked at this
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independently and he freed them because the evidence, the science showed that they were not guilty. >> we see that it's a very different case here now, we appreciate you giving us some insight. unfortunately we have to break it out here. thank you so much for being with us. looking forward on "america tonight," brutal conditions behind bars even for some visitors. >> i started hearing, stop resisting, stop resisting, i yelled out i'm in handcuffs then somebody smashed my face down on the ground. then i heard cracking, i heard this -- >> the los angeles sheriff's department mired in controversy, mike okhu investigates. crime and punishment, next week, 9:00 eastern.
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only on al jazeera america.
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so he may not known exactly what to do, but
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>> and timely tonight, yeah, it's that weekend again when millions of fans dust off their favorite team jerseys and head straight to the couch. the super bowl rakes in some $10 billion each year but rising prices, may make a lot of seat warmers to think, maybe things could be better in front of the small screen. mark here with. >> it finishes with excitement.
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>> seagals! >> it's sunday, game day. for millions of americans sunday afternoons from autumn through winter means one thing, nfl football. fans trek to stadiums from coast to coast. >> you're there, you're seeing everything live. it's the atmosphere is great. you're tailgating. >> it feels like home. everybody you know is there for the same reason. well, you're in for a treat. >> they also prepare in their own homes and and congregate. >> everybody wants to have a good time together. >> but america's favorite sport could be at the crossroads of economics and technology when it has its fans actually going to the game. >> you are spending a lot of money. >> you're over $100, before even
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getting to go there. >> 20% of the fans said they wanted to be at the game. 14 years earlier the number was 54%. one reason might be purely cost. >> parking and food and the time commitment sitting in traffic. >> according to the sports industry analysts the average ticket price for the 2013 season was $81, for a premium seat that average was $247 per ticket. then if you add parking, averaging $30. a beer, $7. a hotdog and soda, $9.50. the cost for a family of four reaches $459. >> that could be a hindrance to a fan that doesn't have the luxury of corporate seats. >> and while yearly nfl revenue nears the $10 billion mark, much of which is from television
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deals, the problem is getting people in the seats. the league saw a 3.2% dip in attendance from 2007 to 2011 and has slowly tried to fill the gap since. 20 teams played at home stadiums under 90% capacity. how to attract fans to games? >> we want it to be the first time to the stadium. >> spoke to vice president of the philadelphia eagles, brian papson. >> tailgating experiences and even enhancing their wifi experience and their interactive experience within the building. >> the eagles are one of the few franchises that have overhauled their home stadium with wifi and improved the fan's in game experience with the eagles app.
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>> getting the content out there. replays in their seat to fantasy stats and you now have all of that at your fingertips. >> improving the fan's experience can never be taken for granted. >> you can't assume that the fan will come back. there's so many options to people now. you have to always be finding ways to bring people back. >> one of those people who do come back year after year is john mansanelli junior. season tickets to the eagles have been in the family since 1971. >> it becomes an all day celebration of football. family, friends. once you fight through the parking and traffic and lines, waiting to get in. being at an nfl game want makesu want to be there.
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link is more high tech, it's more for lack of a better word, luxurious. it's newer. my dad would have a sony walkman. my phone has an nfl app that has ability to watch the games. i'm in the ballpark of $105 a ticket. >> as nfl franchises seek to keep seats filled on game days, the toughest competition is keep people at home, a very tv friendly sport, it seems to be the place where more and more fans are cheering. >> it approaches that. >> former fixed income salesman corky andrews has moved from his seat in the stadium to the front
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row of his home theater. >> it is convenient. i don't have to worry about the temperature being 0°, watching i.t. in my home theater kind of outweighs going to the game. >> as electronics companies make it easier and more affordable for the consumer, the economics of attending a game become even more glaring. >> i don't know how a family of four can afford to go to a football game anymore. i think if you get it pumped in you have a lot more enjoyment sitting at home. live streaming you can pick your camera angles, you see a lot more replays. you can rewind if you miss a play. live tv at this point is approaching being at a game. i think when the costs get such that you know, the average middle class avid van can't get down to the game they're going to be sitting at home watching it in their family room.
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>> of course the super bowl was sold out months ago but mark morgan reminds us you can get tickets on the secondary market, prices as low as they have been in four years. that's it for us. have a good night. >> nogales, arizona. is. nogales, arizona. >> nagales. arizona. a bus has arrived filled with people being deported from the united states. right now, we're headed to san juan bosko, it is a shelter at nogales, where the authorities pick up the people who have been deported so they have a place to stay their first day back in
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